June 17, 2008

Interview - Marco Pennesi from Powerboat Endurance Team Metamarine Corse Veneta Marina Racing

PowerYacht presents a special about the Powerboat P1 2008 season interviewing the racers and protagonist of the series in both classes. As a start to these special interviews we talk with Metamarine Corse Veneta Marina Racing, interviewing team boss and driver Marco Pennesi. Metamarine after the third round and sixth race of Malta is in third place in the Evolution Class at 330 points, 100 points away from current class leader and 2007 Champion Fountain Worldwide. The 60 GFN Gibellato boat is also one of the two Evolution boats with diesel power.
Questions PY. PowerYacht, Reply MP - Marco Pennesi

PY. A strong preparation from your side for this season, are you satisfied with the results achieved so far?
MP - Yes we're very satisfied with our boat, we've to tweak it better but we have dominated three Poles, and that's a great satisfaction.

PY. As you point out, you have dominated so far every Power Pole and won a race on the table in Italy, what is missing for the 60 GFN Gibellato to win a race? Is it really as the rumors say a fuel weight problem?
MP - We have no fuel problem rather we noticed a low fuel consumption on our boat. The bad start was caused by a not well working engine.

PY. Yes the bad starts have also been a characteristic of Gibellato so far, with some people arguing the fact that if boat 60 goes up well at the start it can win the race. Are these rumors correct? When one notes that you have the opportunity to choose your lane as Power Pole winners, giving another advantage. What is has been the problem at the start?
MP - We have no problem with the start, we won every pole position so our boat can win every race. Our boat just need an engine tweak cause we're the only one using such kind of Seatek engine, and there's some work to do in order to fix the sx turbo-charged engine.

PY. Rumor has it that 60 GFN Gibellato prefers the rough sea thanks to the diesel power, 46 feet size and extra weight. But once the race gets going it seems not to be much difference as was the case in Italy with not much of waves in there. What type of weather suits best to the boat and what is your preference?
MP - The 60 GFN Gibellato doesn't have a preferred sea or weather, it's racing very well in every G.P., and we haven't got any hull damage since now as many of the other team had. I personally prefer rough sea, it's more enjoyable for a pilot!

PY. Fountain Worldwide won the 2007 season in the final race. When one notes that you Metamarine had an improved package and OSG a new outfit, did you think to find the English USA team so much a step ahead in the first part of the P1 2008 season?
MP - We don't think Fountain is unbeatable, furthermore considering that the capability of a boat is expressed well during the pole position, with open sea and clear way, and we won all the 3 Pole Position. We just need to tweak our boat in order to beat Fountain

PY. Which of the new teams will give the biggest competition for the title? (Italcraft, Cigarette, and Honeyparty) Any why do you think they are tough to beat?
MP - I dunno which may be more competitive for us, we won all the pole and we're third in the P1 standing. We'll see what happen in the next G.P. Of Tunisia

PY. We saw a great comeback in Malta from the OSG Racing Team. After Malta they seem the team to beat at least in the racing. Do you think that the rough seas could have been to there advantage or the OSG package is complete?
MP - Yes, OSG for sure found a perfect sea and weather for their boat, and they did a nice race.

PY. Petrol vs Diesel! You are so far one of two teams gambling on diesel in Evolution, with the heavy fuel last winning the P1 championship in 2005 with Wettpunkt.com. Analyzing the races now after the third race would you make the same choice? Do you still think diesel can beat petrol?
MP - Diesel Engine is clearly better than Petrol, we've 3 time the torque than a Petrol engine and that allow us to move faster from a buoy, furthermore the three Pole win state our boat concrete superiority.

PY. In the real nautical World most boats over 10 meters are sold with Diesel power. I think P1 is pushing more for Petrol power due to the bigger show thanks to the noise that they make, but if competitions should be used to push technology forward in the real World, they would do the opposite. What is your idea about this?
MP - Petrol Engine make for sure more “show and noise”, but as u said diesel motor is the most used power system in the real world; furthermore considering the low consumption, the great torque power. We think that Diesel engine are the future, we work totally on diesel engine and we're looking to introduce the Metamarine way of boat construction.

PY. In your opinion are the rules from the P1 between diesel and petrol engines fair? Would you change improve some things?
MP - P1 rule are fair. The organization just need to check better the boat, in all it's part, looking for water tank or some other device prohibited by the rule.

PY. Was the calendar start for the 2008 season with 3 races going on 2 weeks after each other too close? Did it affect if anything your preparation.
MP - It affected a lot my preparation due to the low time we had to prepare and tweak the boat, considering also the work I have constantly to do in my shipyard and workshop.

PY. You have won the 2004 Supersport Championship. Did you find the transition from Supersport to Evolution difficult?
MP - It wasn't difficult, we found it more gratifying and enjoyable for our team.

PY. The standards from 2007 to 2008 in Evolution seem to have made a big leap forward, are you satisfied with the improvements?
MP - I'm not completely satisfied, looking to the future there's a lot of work to do.

PY. Rules change with no speed limits ensure the superiority of the Evolution Class, but also a race separation is also good. It was said that after winning in Cowes and disqualified cause of the speed limit you where among the first who raised this issue. How much is there truth in this rumor?
MP - We got a disqualification from a UIM judge, and the judgment was clearly unfair. We constantly work in order to improve the rule for a more safe and enjoyable Championship.

PY. What would you like to see P1 improve in?
MP - P1 is doing a nice job, and we always try to help as much as possible in order to improve the rule, the championship and the whole organization.

PY. You have raced in Class One, fast offshore catamarans last year. What is your idea about Class1 and how does it compare to P1?
MP - Class One is the most gratifying sport. No other sport give u the adrenaline and the fun u can have from a Class One race, and it's not comparable to P1 race.

PY. Will we see you racing in Class One again?
MP - If the rule change I will be the first in line! The actual rule doesn't allow me to race fairly.

PY. Managing also a boatyard and building the Metamarine 46 TNT Replica which is based on the 46 Corsa racing boat used in the P1, do you think that competition like P1 helps technology move forward?
MP - For sure! We race in P1 championship for passion and in order to improve the advanced technology of our boat, evolving our TNT 46 Corsa in a perfect pleasure craft, the TNT 46 Replica. We are very proud of our technological boat solution.

Thanks for your time and acceptance of the PowerYacht interview. Best of luck for the 2008 season and all your future racing success.

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